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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

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You must pay rent to your landlord in return for living in the property. If you stop paying your rent, are late with a payment or do not pay in full, your landlord may begin eviction proceedings against you.

Your tenants are obliged to keep their rental accounts up to date. If a tenant is late with rent or hasn't paid in full, you should contact them to find out what has happened.

The bedroom tax is a reduction in Housing Benefit for people who live in a property that is owned by NIHE or a housing association and that is too large for their household. Its proper name is the “social sector size criteria”, but most people call it the “bedroom tax”.

If you rent your home from the Housing Executive or a housing association and you receive Housing Benefit, the amount of money you receive could be reduced if your home has too many bedrooms. Find out how many rooms your household is allowed.

The amount of housing benefit which your tenants get will not always match up to the amount of rent you charge. The Housing Executive looks at the size of the claimant's household, their personal circumstances and the area in which they live before deciding how much housing benefit they are entitled to.

Your Housing Benefit will be reduced if the Government says you have too many bedrooms. However, for the next few years, the money that you lose will be replaced from a separate fund. Politicians at the Assembly have set up a fund to offset these cuts to Housing Benefit, meaning that most people in Northern Ireland will not actually lose out financially because of the changes. This fund will be available until March 2020.

You must pay rent to your landlord in return for living in the property. If you stop paying your rent, are late with a payment or do not pay in full, your landlord may begin eviction proceedings against you.

If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent. Most people who rent privately have their entitlement to housing benefit worked out under a system called Local Housing Allowance.

Almost everyone will experience difficulties paying their bills at some point. If you are worried about falling into arrears or missing a payment of rent, you should talk to your landlord about the problem. Free debt advice is available from a variety of local advice agencies.

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